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Oftentimes, police cruisers will have features that aren’t available for regular everyday cars, giving officers a leg up when they have to chase down criminals. These are built by a few different manufacturers, but the most popular police vehicles are produced by Ford. Why do so many come from this brand and who are Ford’s competitors?

Why are many police cars Fords?

Police departments across the country usually buy the most inexpensive model offering the most useful items, according to one Quora user. Ford has been the number one choice with its Crown Victoria cars and recently the Explorer for decades and it’s used for both marked and unmarked police cars

According to CNBC, the brand offers the Police Interceptor package as an add-on to the Ford Explorer. This gave them the leading edge because the brand has been able to stay on top in this market since at least 2014. 

The reason Ford became the go-to for police vehicles is the ability these cars have to add aftermarket parts designed for law enforcement use. The brand actually put in a lot of effort to build its cars this way to make a police department’s customization of the cruisers easier. 

Another reason, however, for Ford holding more than half of this specific market is the fact that the brand has a long history with law enforcement agencies. Ford has offered a police package for some of its vehicles since the 1950s. 

History of Ford’s police cars 

In 1951, Ford began using the ‘Interceptor’ name on its optional Flathead V8 engine that produced 110 hp. That would later on change to represent a specialized model, built to make police duties easier. 

By 1961, a study came out that showed that most large cities across the country were buying and using Ford models as the police cruiser of choice. The brand continued to be popular, so in 1967, Ford built a special-purpose vehicle, its Bronco model, and added a police package to it, according to Ford’s site. 

Other models began popping up at police departments, like the police Mustang cruiser, which became a favorite of the California highway patrol. They bought about 400 of these units in 1982. Eleven years later, the Explorer SUV was first introduced as a police vehicle using Ford’s police package add-on. You’ll find some departments still using this model for rough terrain driving. 

By the time 2002 rolled around, the brand had added a new feature designed specifically for police safety. Ford began installing ballistic panels for the doors, which offered bullet-proof protection. 

In 2003 the Crown Victoria police Interceptor edition became the first vehicle to be tested that could withstand a 75 mph rear-impact crash. Today, you’ll only find Ford Interceptor vehicles being tested this vigorously.

Who’s competing against the Ford police cars?

Over the years, there have been a few competitors in the market. Chevy is one of Ford’s biggest rivals, offering its Caprice sedan, Suburbans, Blazers, and even Impalas in some cities across the United States. 

Dodge has even dipped its toe in this area of the market as well with its Charger model, which began selling to law enforcement agencies in 2006. Its identifying feature is the crosshair grille in the front. 

Today, more police departments are getting on board with electric vehicles for their officers. The brands offering this type of cruiser include Chevy with its Bolt model, Tesla Model 3, which is seen globally as well as in Texas, and Chevy’s electric Blazer version. Ford also has a couple of electric models as well, which are its Mustang EV and its Ford F-150 Lightning models. 

There’ve been a few brands offering vehicles built for law enforcement agencies, but most of these police cruisers are Fords. The main reason is due to its ability to be easily customizable as well as its long history with the law.


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